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  • Writer's pictureSteve Bryant

How to Master Bass Lessons Online: Tips from a Nashville Session Pro who's Never Been Hired to Play a Scale

Greetings from Nashville! Electric Bass guitar continues to evolve despite being a relatively new instrument. One of the early pioneers, Monk Montgomery, played electric bass on a 1953 Art Farmer session. By the '60's, bass guitar was an undeniable force in in all genres of music and a major contributor to the development of countless recordings in Pop, Rock, R&B, and Country. The bass guitar enjoys a prominence in music that remains to this day and in the foreseeable future.


Today's bassist encounters challenges that brings fresh opportunities as well in improving as our bass playing and overall musicianship.


My mission is to present practical information as a studio bassist working professionally since 1975. Of course, music and the demands of competency in playing bass constantly evolves.


In my 40 plus years as a private teacher to those who have gone on to better gigs, play pro or semi pro, or just to better their musicianship, the one thing they have in common regardless of the style of music they play... is the music fact- based practicing they study with me. It's been said that a steady diet of scale practice exclusive to key centers and functional harmony is not beneficial because it does not define tonality, and can impede music growth.


Over the years, I've had heated but friendly discussions with young musicians about this very issue.. On occasion, I've taken them to sessions with me. In that environment, you demonstrate with ability or you have no career. This is a simple fact. I so much enjoyed sharing with these student my work days and '' flow '' of recording sessions. They had a great time meeting the other musicians on the date as well as the engineer and producer. Afterwards, we had short discussion of the nuts and bolts of the music. In the course of our conversation, The realized that during the session there was no mention of a scale in producing this music. Scales are a fact of academic regard and important to our building our chordal system of function and fact based practicing.


During the session, communication concerned keys, chords, bar length and in a defined harmonic structure. Note that this '' language'' can be learned thru learning to read and utilizing written music to learn musicianship and play better.

Every aspect of music can be learned and absorbed in a relevant manner by reading music.. I like to think of it as being a Bass Musician!!



I am passionate about teaching and ALL my students learn how to play better, and become competent musicians who can compete in the real world of music.. contact me by using the contact form on my website... I teach worldwide thru Skype and live in Nashville. Carol Kaye, Studio Legend and Master Educator, has endorsed me on her website. She no longer teaches and has been sending students my way. Her books are a must have for the serious bassist.


To Quote Carol:


'' I'd personally go with Steve Bryant in Nashville, where I sent all my former students to, since I'm not teaching anymore....he's a long-time successful studio musician and long-time fine educator, the only one I'd send everyone to online. He'll get you going correctly in all styles of music inc. Jazz if you want.''


- Carol Kaye, World renowned Studio Legend and Educator of 1000's of bassists.. author of over 30 books and courses for electric bass and guitar.


More former student comments:


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“Steve’s practical professional advice and instruction provided me with a solid foundation to make my passion my profession. There is a big difference between playing bass and being a bass player. Steve helped me bridge that gap.”


Lee Francis- Bassist/Bandleader for Jon Pardi and The All Nighters 


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"I moved to Nashville almost five years ago after thirty years as a professional and semi-professional bassist living in the upper midwest. Needless to say after countless sessions and tours and local gigs I figured I knew what I was doing. I was lucky enough to run into a friend of Steve’s at a music store here in town and he recommended I give him a call to get some ideas about getting work here in Nashville. I am a schooled upright player and have studied with various instructors over the years but had never had a lesson on electric bass. I started working with Steve and he brought me right back to the “Center” of what it takes to be a bassist. So many areas of my playing have improved. Time, tone, harmony, note length, and touch. All are vastly improved after a handful of mentoring sessions with Steve. Not only that, he has the uncanny ability to not only make you a better bassist, you find yourself a better person as well. I will always be his student…"


Tom Good- Nashville Bassist with the Peach Pickers and various artists.  


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"I am very grateful for the sessions I have had with Steve. I have left each session excited and motivated to work even harder on my skills as a bassist. He is patient and gladly willing to answer any questions I have, all while still guiding the lessons in a very methodical and clear manner. Steve is undoubtedly one of the best at what he does, and it is a true blessing that he enjoys sharing his gift through mentoring students. Thank you Steve for your encouragement, kindness, and wisdom."


Kirby Barber - Touring and Freelance Bassist-  Salmon Arm, British Columbia


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'' What a great teacher!!! Working with Steve is an absolute delight. In our many sessions together, he is always articulate, methodical, patient and sincere-not to mention always great for a laugh. His approach is teaching chord theory, with a focus on helping me understand how much influence the bass can have in a chord, is nothing short of exceptional! It has unlocked a lot of theory for me. As a result of listending and putting in the time to get the concepts under my fingers, I now physically approach the instrument differently, have a noticeably richer tone, and find myself creating melodic bass lines in the moment, without having to think about it. ''


-Timothy Nobles

20 + year touring/studio bassist with major and independent recording artists


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"The first year I lived here in Nashville, I pursued Steve Bryant and seized every opportunity to learn from and be mentored by him. I'm eternally grateful that I did, as he equipped me with the tools and knowledge I needed to succeed as a professional musician, here in what I believe to be the biggest music producing city in the world. I can't begin to count the number of times I drew upon the wisdom and knowledge he imparted, in order for me to succeed in this line of work. If I weren't so busy these days, thanks to him, I'd still be bugging him every week for another lesson! Haha! I still intend to...

Whether it be technical, mental, or relational skills, I felt like Mr. Bryant always ensured that I was well-equipped with what I needed to address any issue in the music industry. In my opinion, his teaching and mentoring abilities are unparalleled. Steve Bryant is not only an excellent teacher and mentor, but he also employs a vast wealth of knowledge and experience that any student (at any level) can benefit from! I'm so grateful to have found such a great example of excellence, discipline, kindness and professionalism. 

Steve Bryant is my hero..."


Jake Barr, Nashville Bassist for Jeremy McComb, Bone Feather, and Tiffany 


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" Working with Steve showed me the path of least resistance towards understanding chordal theory and breaking down any type of harmony to its core components. Now my ears can easily recognize pretty much any combination of notes that I want to either learn or compose. Not to mention plenty of real world info from his many years spent as a pro bassist. Time well spent! "


-Tyrone Coughlin .. Nashville Bassist


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'' Steve Bryant is as rare as hens' teeth. He has it all.., chops, fluency as well as maturity and restraint. He is also one of the most personable, friendly, humble and sincere folks you could ever meet or work with. And, he shares all of these wonderful attributes to all who study under his tutelage. He teaches as well as he plays and focuses on real musical knowledge and skills, not fretboard gymnastics and gimmicks If you want the very best, contact Steve and see for yourself.''


Phillip Holbrook- Valdosta Ga. Bassist


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If you want to learn Real Deal Real World Bass Musicianship, Contact me at : stevebryant71bass@gmail.com or, Fill out the contact form here on my website.



Learn a skill that will last a lifetime..


Thanks for visiting my site!



Steve




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